Category Archives: Events

2018 Kumamoto International Friendship Festival

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On Saturday, November 24, the 25th annual International Friendship Festival was held in Kumamoto City.

Several JETs participated in the festival, showcasing taiko skills, participating in a kimono fashion show, and even volunteering in a face-painting booth alongside other Japanese high-school students. Former Kumamoto JET Edwin Huits held the microphone as master of ceremonies alongside Ms Sakai of the Kumamoto International Association.

If you are a Kumamoto JET and interested in doing a performance or hosting an exchange booth next year, please let the PAs know!

Here are a few photos from the event!

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2018 Higokko Wakuwaku English Camp for JHS Students (Yamaga)

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A Wakuwaku English Camp for junior high school students was held in Yamaga on 17 November. It was attended by over 60 students, as well as JETs of 6 different nationalities who all prepared amazing cultural displays and lead engaging communicative language activities. To top it all off, a spontaneous game of floor hockey broke out over the lunch break!

Here are some photos from the camp (click “continue reading” to see more!).

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17th Ashikita International Festival!

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Ashikita Town is putting on their seventeeth annual International Festival and they are looking for participants! Please find a message below from Hester, the JET CIR organizing the event:

Hello there, gentle gaijin of Kumamoto, CIR of Ashikita town Hester here!

This weekend (Sunday) we are holding the Ashikita International Festival – please pop down and eat some international food, see some performances and make our little celebration of all things foreign truly international!

Please come and see Ashikita, enjoy a delicious lunch and don’t forget to say hi!

☆ Tacos, crepes, kebabs and other delicious food
☆ Live music, local performances and fellow JETs taking the stage
☆ A coloring competition with the chance to play an old-school Japanese TV game (think Mario played on an Atari)

Where: Ashikita Dekopon Rest Area
When: 10:30am to 3:00pm – but stop by when you can!

How to get there

By car: turn off the Ashikita IC and follow signs to Dekopon – there will be attendants to show you where to park
By train: 20 mins walk from Sashiki station (Orenji Tetsudo Line linked with Yatsushiro city and Minamata city). Make sure you cross to the platform for trains to Minamata, then follow the path across the field towards the Sky Dome. Then follow the road to the left past the intersection, over the bridge and down until you find the Dekopon!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at or find me on Facebook as Hester Mullen!

2018 Higokko Wakuwaku English Camp for ES Students (Yatsushiro)

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On Saturday, 20 October, a Higokko Wakuwaku English Camp for elementary school students was held in Yatsushiro for students hailing from the southern regions of the prefecture. Over 60 students spent the day playing games, absorbing and experiencing culture from 7 different countries with Kumamoto Prefecture’s JETs, who prepared many unique materials, games and decorations to set off the event with an international flair!

And, good news! The lovable Kumamon was also able to make his appearance!

Stay tuned for the next elementary school camp to be held in Kikuchi on 8 December!

Here are some photos from the camp (click “continue reading” to see more!).

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2018 Higokko Wakuwaku English Camp for JHS Students (Kamiamakusa)

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The annual Higokko Wakuwaku English Camp for JHS students was held in Kamiamakusa for the first time on 29 September 2018. Students from junior high schools in the southern half of the prefecture (some from as far away as Taragi Town) spent the day playing games and doing crafts, and partaking in much fun courtesy of Kumamoto JETs!

Despite fears of an impending typhoon, Kumamon came out to Kamiamakusa to join in, too!

The Higokko Wakuwaku English Camp for JHS students will be held again this November in Yamaga for students going to schools in the north of the prefecture.

Here are some photos from the camp. Click “continue reading” to see more!

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2018 International Cafe in Minamata!

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Minamata City is putting on their second annual International Cafe and they are looking for participants! Please find a message below from Greg, the JET CIR organizing the event:

Hello, Kumamoto JETs! I’d just like to let you know about a great event coming up organised by Minamata City and MIFA. Perfect if you’d like to get out of the office during the summer holidays!

You are invited to The 2nd International Cafe in Minamata on Thursday, August 23rd 2018 10:30am-3pm. Explore Minamata, have fun and meet people from all over the world!

What: 2018 International Cafe in Minamata
When: Thursday, August 23rd 2018 10:30am-3pm
Attendance fee: only 500 yen! (includes light lunch, drinks and insurance)

Click HERE to see the flyer for more information and the sign-up form. We hope you can attend!

Note: There will be a round trip charter bus from Kumamoto City to Minamata City available. From other locations, you will be responsible for your own transportation to Minamata. Also, we cannot guarantee that this will be treated as a work event. Please discuss with your contracting organisation, but be aware that you may have to use nenkyu to attend.

Please direct questions and registration to Greg in the Minamata City Office
(; 0966-61-1606)

2018 Leaver’s Meeting Photos

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On Friday, June 22, we held a meeting for Kumamoto JETs who will be leaving the JET Programme this summer. Thank you to everyone who attended, thank you to our speakers, and thank you to Governor Kabashima and Kumamon!

The leaving JETs discussed many things, including the challenges they have faced on JET, what they will miss after leaving Kumamoto, and what they are looking forward to. We hope that this meeting was beneficial to all who attended!

We wish everyone the best of luck in their post-JET lives!

If you would like more information on the procedures and necessary preparation for after JET, please take a look at the Information Packet for Non-Reappointing JETs.

And… pictures!




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Information Packet for Non-Reappointing JETs

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The information packet for non-reappointing JETs has been updated! If you are a Kumamoto JET who is leaving the JET program this year, please consult this extensive guide on the procedures and preparations you should take from now. You can find the packet on this page.

If you have any questions after thoroughly reading the information provided in the packet, please feel free to contact the Kumamoto PAs.

The Leavers Meeting will be held June 22 in Kumamoto City. If you are a JET departing the program this summer, please save this date!

2017 Skill Development Conference

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As all Kumamoto ALTs know, the 2017 Skill Development Conference (SDC) was held on November 30 and December 1, 2017. For two days, ALTs, JTEs, and HRTs particpated in workshops focusing on teaching, English language, and living and working in Japan. We hope the conference participants learned some new things, but we also hope that they were able to network and bond with each other.

This year’s SDC materials are available here.

Here are some photos from the conference. Click “continue reading” to begin reminiscing…

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